Terracotta warriors, travel in China

7 Easy World Travel Tips

Here are a few easy world travel tips that will make your adventures more fulfilling, cheaper, and more like what you’ve always imagined travel should be.

1. Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you. Seriously, far too many people don’t smile. A smile invites people to help you.

2. Let people help you. I know, you want to be a rugged traveler that doesn’t need anyone. The truth is though that one way human beings build relationships is through helping each other. Let someone help you find a place, accept the offer of a stranger, ask for help when you need it.

3. Help other people. Don’t expect anything in return but when you see someone drop something, help them pick it up. If you find a wallet, make it a quest to find the owner and return it. Help an old lady up some stairs.

Terracotta warriors, travel in China
A smile leads you to friends all over the world.

4. Be the first to visit a place. I know, it sounds impossible but the truth is that in every town there are little cafes that only the locals know. In every country there are creeks or cities where tourists have never been. In the entire world, there are places that you’ve never heard of. Make these your mission.

5. Fear is your friend. When you feel fear it is your body’s way of giving you a warning. Pay attention to it. Know what it is. Learn to count backwards from three and ask yourself if you need to be afraid of this or not. Overcoming your fear is a massive rush. Listening to your fear and not getting killed is an even better rush.

6. Don’t be rigid. Part of the joy of travel is that it allows us to grow and become something different than we have always been. Open yourself up to new ideas. If you automatically say no, you will certainly miss something.

7. Remember to ask question about the people you are talking with. It’s far too easy to start talking about yourself. We are all our own favorite subject. People you meet will ask you questions. Answer them, but be brief and don’t forget to ask them about themselves. They are also their own favorite thing to talk about.

Okay, seven isn’t enough…here is an 8th tip!

8. READ! If you are traveling and you don’t like to read, you will have a less wonderful time than those that do. When you are traveling the world, you will have times when you have to spend hours waiting for something. A book can make that time a joy. Plus, if you read about the places you are going or have been, you will find all of your travel more fulfilling. Sure, you can read the guidebook, but there isn’t much better than reading a story about a bar in Tangier and then walking into the place two days later. Fiction, biography, travel memoirs, or holy books like the Q’uran (if you are visiting a Muslim country). All of them will give you insight into the places you are visiting.

8 thoughts on “7 Easy World Travel Tips”

  1. Lol. I figure one of them is a bonus! I thought about changing it when I read your comment, but your comment made me laugh so much, I decided to keep the list imperfect.

  2. If I can chime in –

    Do something every day that is positive in your life or to help someone else. It absolutely feeds the soul to do something for someone. The air you breathe that day will be sweeter; your step will be springy – life in general will be cupcakes and puppies – even if you come across a jerk – it wont break your spirit.

    Cheers in your travels!

  3. I agree with all your tips, but I have a funny story about tip#1. I was traveling with a friend through Viet Nam and we were walking down the street. My friend smiled at someone and they turned on him and asked angrily why he smiled at them. He said he was just being friendly. It was odd. I think smiling is a good idea, but you’ll sometimes meet weird people like that.

  4. Sometimes when you smile, people wonder what you are smiling about. i.e. Do you think they’re ridiculous? I bet you and your friend smiled more after that Steve.

    ~v

  5. @Steve – same thing happened walking through quiet southern Tennessee town – the hike felt good, had cleared a few miles on my way to Memphis (yeah…I know… tt: Graceland) and just started smiling and telling people “good morning” ‘cept prob for one guy – I think homophobes have a problem with smiling and take facial queues the wrong way – could have been that I was in the south though…

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